Size and location are two concepts that don’t always go hand in hand, at least when it comes to home-hunting. If I asked you how a home in the city center would be like, you would surely imagine a small apartment in a block of buildings and not a villa with a garden and a swimming pool. It’s strange (but not impossible) to find such a house in crowded areas. And, if you do, it is very likely that it will be quite expensive. However, it also happens the opposite: on the outskirts of the city there are often be more spacious houses and fewer building blocks.
If you’re thinking about moving, you may have wondered what is best for you. A small flat downtown or a spacious house in the suburbs? Prioritizing size or location will depend on what your current needs are, but also your expectations for the future. Therefore, evaluate these aspects to have a clear idea of what you should look for before making the final decision.
Alone or together
The first thing to keep in mind when searching for a home is whether you want to share an accommodation or not. It’s not the same living on your own or with your family, partner or friends. If you want to live on your own, you’ll probably give more importance to the location. Unless you want to fill your house with junk!
On the contrary, if you live with your partner and want to expand your family, it’s convenient that you value the space you need so that you won’t be uncomfortable.
In the case of moving with your friends or sharing a flat with other people, you are more likely to prioritize the location, since you will have more facilities around you at a much lower cost.
Budget (It’s all about the money…)
When you’re young and become independent for the first time, you succumb to anything as long as it’s cheap. In addition, if you share a flat you can find great opportunities in the city center for an affordable price. On the other hand, if you’re going to upgrade and move to a better home, the economic factor won’t be that important. You’ve lived with your low-cost-mode on for many years. Now you can afford something better!
On the other hand, if you live in a smaller place you’ll save a lot on air conditioning and heating, which will have a positive impact on the environment.
Having a swimming pool, gym or beautiful gardens only for you or your family is a luxury. Not only because you can use them whenever you want, but also because of the privacy you can enjoy. However, if you want to really savor these little pleasures you’ll have to look for a house away from the city center. It’s practically impossible to find a private swimming pool there… unless you win the lottery!
If you don’t mind sharing common areas, it won’t matter if you live in a small place. Nowadays, it’s usual for builders to incorporate green spaces and amenities in the inner courtyard of apartment buildings. On the top of that, in these cases the community is responsible for the maintenance costs. That is, you won’t have to cover them yourself.
Just remember to keep the volume at an appropriate level! If you live in the outskirts, you don’t have to worry about the noise you make, and the chances of your neighbors complaining are smaller.
Time is gold, and getting the most out of it only depends on you… and where you live! If you like to hang out with your mates, a small flat in the city center is your best option. You have everything close to you: bars, restaurants, parks, shops, museums… And this allows you to optimize your time much better and enjoy it to the fullest. You can go everywhere on foot or by public transport, and you’ll have more time to share with your close ones.
On the other hand, if you prefer to spend more time at home, consider the possibility of a spacious and quiet property. As I said before, you can have some benefits like swimming pool, garden or barbecue… just for you!
Also, look at it in this way: space won’t be a problem when organizing events or meeting your friends at home. And being on the outskirts of the city will let you be in closer contact with nature.
Maintenance and cleaning
It’s a matter of logic: the bigger your house is, the more time you need to dedicate to keep it perfect. Not only the property itself but also the outdoor areas like the garden. If it’s too big, you may even need to hire cleaning services to lend you a hand.
The further away from the center, the more limited will be public transportation. The city center usually has an integrated transport system with buses, trains, subways and tram every few minutes. In the suburbs there are less options to get around and they are less periodic. If you don’t want to spend much time traveling to get from one place to another, prioritize location before size.
On the other hand, if you have a car and like to drive, then this shouldn’t be a problem. You have total freedom to go wherever you want, no matter where you are. You can live in a spacious home in a quiet area and, at the same time, move around without depending on public transport. This is a great advantage especially at night, as night buses and subways take longer to reach their destinations and they are even scarcer than daytime’s. That being said, it’s always important to remember that drinking and driving is very dangerous for yourself and for the other people.
However, don’t forget that leaving your car in the city center can be difficult sometimes, and you’ll probably have to pay a parking space. On the top of that, it’s likely you will find yourself stuck in the middle of traffic jams in your daily commute if you work downtown.
Be aware of the transport conditions if you have children. If you live far from the center and your kids have to travel to a distant school, evaluate what options there are or if you will have to take them there.
Buying a home in a good area is a long-term investment, and the location is one of the most important factors when home-hunting. So, if you are in a safe neighborhood surrounded by good schools, shops, restaurant and public transport, you’ll have more chances to take advantage of that in the future.
However, a spacious house in a different location can also be profitable. People usually prefer quiet places away from the hustle and bustle of the city center to disconnect and enjoy a pleasant time off. Therefore, the possibilities of using this house as a summer residence or renting it to other tenants are bigger.
The less you have, the freer you are. Living in a small property will help you optimize the space and keep only the essentials. You’ll learn to live with only off what you require and you’ll need less things to furnish your place.
However, a big home lets you keep all your stuff. Do you remember that piano you have in the storage room? And the treadmill? If you are aiming to live in the city center, surely you’ll have to give up keeping with you everything you want. But in a larger house you won’t need to worry about this. In addition, you can assign different uses for every room to organise your stuff in a more efficient way.
Every city is a world
Although the cases I’ve explained before are the most common ones, don’t forget that there’s nothing set in stone when it comes to home-hunting. The type of houses you’ll find will depend largely on the city where you live. That is, not all the properties heart of the city will be building blocks; and not all far from it will be villas or spacious houses. You can always find apartment blocks in the outskirts, which is often the cheapest option In any case, both location and size are two important factors that must be taken into account, so study your situation and choose what’s best for you before starting your search.